More incentives for mid-career professionals making the switch to healthcare

Nurse educator Jumaiah Jumari at the Singapore General Hospital, sharing her knowledge and skills with the younger nurses.
Nurse educator Jumaiah Jumari at the Singapore General Hospital, sharing her knowledge and skills with the younger nurses.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

SINGAPORE - Mid-career professionals looking to join the healthcare sector as nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists or diagnostic radiographer will have more reasons to take the plunge from this year - including a bigger training allowance and new degree options.

The Ministry of Health and Singapore Workforce Development Agency announced on Saturday that they will be increasing the monthly training allowance for their five healthcare professional conversion programmes (PCP) which enables individuals to get qualifications and skills to work in this sector.

From April, the allowances will be raised by between $50 and $150.

Current allowances range between $1,300 and $1,900, but this will increase to between $1,350 and $2,050.

This is the second round of enhancements to the PCP following the increase in monthly training allowance and introduction of a career transition bonus in 2014.

From September, mid-career professionals can also apply for the Singapore Institute of Techonology's (SIT) new full time four-year degree programmes in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and diagnostic radiography.

Trainees selected for the degree programmes will receive allowances of $2,100 to $2,420 each month, depending on their prior work experience, and a one-time bonus of $2,000 upon graduation.

These programmes will replace Nanyang Polytechnic's three-year diploma programmes for the same areas of study, which took in their last batch of students in April 2015.

Since 2003, over 1,000 people have made the mid-career switch to the healthcare sector.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and the Environment and Water Resources, said the changes "are aimed at enabling more mid-career professionals to join the healthcare family".

"With an ageing population, we need to train and recruit more nurses, therapists and radiographers," she said at the sidelines of a healthcare career preview for mid-career professionals at SIT on Saturday. Another preview will be held from 8.30am to 1pm on Feb 20 at the Academic Plaza in SITs Dover campus.